It's been a while! Mostly because there WERE a ton of new anime that came out, and then only half of them have seen a second or third episode (well, with the exception of Ginga e Kickoff, which aired 5 episodes back to back...and then hasn't shown another episode for almost two weeks like half of every other spring anime).
So, I've been surfing some old, already established series.
One that I finally picked up was Princess Nine.
What drew me to this anime was that it was about baseball, and even more so, that it was about a girl's team being established. This anime was made in 1998, which got me even more excited since my favorite animes came out of the 90's (with the exception of FMA, which came out later).
However, I was very dissappointed.
Three episodes in, and the first two episodes ended with 30-60 seconds at the end of the characters just STARING AT EACH OTHER.
What the heck? Tumbleweed alert! I don't want to watch an anime just to see the characters staring each other down for even half a minute. Then, the end of the third episode was again the 30-60 seconds...but this time, it was of someone walking away.
Still has the same effect on the viewer.
The pace of the anime, too, is very slow. Three episodes in, and on the fourth episode, the protagonist is finally joining the female baseball team. Other members? NO CLUE. It looks like two of them might be introduced next episode, but it takes nine people to play baseball.
Long road ahead...and only, what, 25/26 episodes to do it in.
Animation...I'm not impressed.
Now, let me remind everyone that I'm a fan of 90's anime, which means that I'm used to the slightly different style of drawing/animation that 90's anime has. Lower quality (being the days before digital enhancement) doesn't bother me at all, either.
Princess Nine, however, has some characters (like the 15-year old protagonist) that is drawn a little too thin and almost amateur-ish at times in comparison to the other female characters I've seen up to this point.
Not happy at all about that part of it. Not to mention the animation of the pitching poses and batting swings.
Now, the first baseball anime/manga I ever picked up was "Major". Then, I discovered H2 and Cross Game, and then Ookiku Furikabutte.
H2 was a 90's anime...and Cross Game, written by the same person, came out just a few years later. Both are baseball anime/manga, and both had much better poses. Yes, some of them were a bit stiff, but they weren't NEARLY as bad as Princess Nine.
Ryo's pitching form is good until the drawn motion of her arm (and the release of the pitch). What I saw of the batting...
I was one of the worst batters when I played baseball, and even MY swing wasn't that bad.
It was as if whomever wrote/animated Princess Nine doesn't know much about baseball, or even bothered to do their research first (on pitching and batting motions). Baseball was being televised long before this anime came out; there was plenty of references.
Though, I'm not sure when baseball started in Japan...I'm sure, however, it started before 1997/1998, since H2 started in 1992.
The music, too, isn't that great. The BGM track doesn't seem to match appropriately (it doesn't get my excitement up like Major does, and it doesn't fill me with tension like Cross Game does), and the intro song isn't one of the worst I've ever heard, but it's certainly far from being "good".
The voice acting feels flat at times (I'm just not recieving the emotions in it, except for the dream that Ryo had with her father handing her the baseball; that scene was touching, but didn't even need any voices to get the meaning across...the message was powerful enough). For Japanese voice acting, that's a surprise.
I might keep watching to see if the anime picks up, but so far, I'm not impressed. If it doesn't get better within the next two or three episodes, I'm dropping it.
The anime doesn't have a dramatic feel to it (as most of the characters so far are pretty one-dimensional), but the pace is better suited for a drama rather than a sports anime.
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